I like a TV show called The West Wing. I started watching it when there was no Netflix or torrent sites to download from and it was one of those shows that after watching it for the first time, I think episode four, I would book my Tuesday night (I think it was Tuesday) and make sure I was in. It was also the first DVD box set I ever purchased.
I'm telling you this because in one of the episodes the lead character has a difficult decision to make and as a religious man, he calls upon his priest. The priest tells him a story about a flood and how a man dies in it and when he ends up at the gates of heaven, he complains to St. Peter that this shouldn't have happened to him and he demands an audience with God.
He tells God that he's a religious man, that he prays and that because he thought God loved him, he'd save him. God replies that he sent him a news report, a helicopter and a guy in a rowboat and that he's surprised he is here.
Protests are too late
I'm telling you about that episode because I'm seeing talk of protests. Protests are too late and a waste of time now. We now have to accept what is about to happen and embrace it. We have to look at what our club has become and do our best to enjoy it. It's not nice and it's not what any of us wanted, but there is no point crying over split milk or getting caught in a car park.
And what does anyone hope to achieve from protests? Do we expect Randy Lerner to sack himself or give the club away for nothing. More to the point, do any of you really believe that this is what Randy Lerner wants? I can tell you now, that he doesn't want relegation and I've never spoken to the man. I know this because no man wants this for his club.
But I do wholeheartedly believe that he wants what is best for Aston Villa. And sure, he'll admit he has made mistakes. Mistakes must have been made for us to end up where we are. And it's easy to look back and see where they were made but at the same time, some wrote about those mistakes before they happened and some warned of this.
And when I write that he wants the best for Aston Villa I write that with a little confidence because I'm told from fairly reliable sources that he has had offers, but none were what he thought worthy of Aston Villa. If that is true, I take my hat off to Randy Lerner even as the one person that wrote and warned you of what could happen and what ultimately looks like happening.
Support and encourage, but if you really must protest
I don't think this is going to fall on deaf ears, but I do believe most wont grasp why I write this, but if there was one thing that was needed over everything right now, for many reasons, it would be a full Villa Park for all the remaining games and support for the players like they've not experienced all season.
And yes, you'd have to be a mad man to bet on us staying up, but it's possible and it all starts with the next home match against Crystal Palace. And it's not about a fat lady singing, it's about having eighteen games and that those 18 matches equal 54 points and we don't need all of them.
But if you really must protest, protest for change that Randy Lerner can act on. Hold out A4 pieces of paper with FOX OUT printed on one side and STRIDE IN on the other. If we get relegated we need a real football man that has Aston Villa in his heart to lead us out of this mess and he is the man. And if we manage to survive, which really isn't impossible, I think it's clear to everyone now that we need a real football man at the club that has experience of running a club to lead our club forward.
Some would say that is hindsight. Others would say common sense. But one thing is for sure; the sooner Fox is gone the better it will be for Aston Villa.